Category Archives: NEW JERSEY

Freezing rain expected Sunday

TRENTON NJ -The National Weather Service in Philadelphia – PA, Issued a winter weather advisory from Sunday 7:00 Am until 1:00 Pm. Freezing rain expected—total ice accumulations of a light glaze. Very slippery sidewalks, roads, and bridges are possible.

Slow down and use caution while traveling.

Prosecutor’s Office Concludes Use of Force was Justified in September 29, 2019 Non-Fatal Police Shooting in Trenton

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) has completed its investigation into the September 29, 2019 use of force by a detective of the Trenton Police Department, and has concluded that the use of force was legally justified. The MCPO determined that it is not necessary to present this matter to the Grand Jury because there were no material facts in dispute regarding the lawfulness of the use of force. The investigation was conducted in accordance with the then applicable Attorney General’s Independent Prosecutor Directives (July 28, 2015 Attorney General Supplemental Law Enforcement Directive Regarding Uniform Statewide Procedures and Best Practices for Conducting Police Use of Force Investigations and the Independent Prosecutor Directive 2019-4) 1(“Directives”). Pursuant to the Directive, the Attorney General’s Office conducted an independent review of the use of force and agreed with MCPO’s determination that there were no material facts in dispute and that the use of force by the officer was justified. The Attorney General’s Office concurred with MCPO’s conclusion to forego presentation of this matter to the Grand Jury.

The incident occurred on September 29, 2019, at approximately 4:03 p.m., at 1901 Calhoun Street in Trenton (Valcar Auto Sales). Trenton Police Department Communications received an activation of six gunfire rounds through ShotSpotter, a gunfire detection and location technology providing scalable and reliable gunfire alert and analysis. It was learned that this was an officer-involved shooting involving a suspect,

Because this incident involved a non-fatal injury, presentation to the grand jury was not required under Senate Bill 1036, which modified N.J. Statutes 52:17B-107, and requires the Attorney General to conduct investigations of fatal police encounters and present the them to the Grand Jury later identified as Joseph Reeves, who was shot in the head, upper body, and mid body by a Trenton Police detective and emergency medical services responded to the scene and located Reeves, who was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery. At approximately 4:10 p.m., the Mercer County Homicide Task Force was activated to investigate. The investigation, including statements of three officers and one civilian witness, and physical evidence revealed the following:

The detective was scheduled to work his shift on September 29, 2019 from 3 p.m. until 3 a.m. the following day. The detective left the roll-call briefing dressed in a black Trenton Police “SWAT” sweatshirt and green cargo style pants.

While leaving Trenton Police Headquarters, the detective turned on his department-issued police radio and learned that a shooting had just occurred in the area of East Hanover and North Montgomery Streets. There was a broadcast that the suspect vehicle was possibly a silver Ford Fusion with damage to the rear/trunk area. The detective left Headquarters and drove toward a location he believed the suspect would flee from East Hanover Street. While stopped at a red light at Calhoun and Southard Streets, the detective observed a silver Kia Optima sedan traveling on Calhoun Street toward Princeton Avenue/Route 206. The detective observed that the rear driver’s side window was “blown out,” as if the result of gunfire. The detective also observed a large dent to the rear/trunk area of the vehicle. He broadcasted his observations to the other detectives via Trenton Police Communications. The detective further advised that the vehicle’s make and model were somewhat different than the original description; however, the vehicles are similar in appearance.

The detective followed the silver Kia Optima on Calhoun Street toward West Miller Street. Once the vehicle arrived in this area, the Kia made an abrupt left into the parking lot at 1901 Calhoun Street (Valcar Auto Sales). While waiting for backup, the detective observed the suspect vehicle enter the back corner of the gravel/dirt parking lot. As the Kia remained in the rear of the lot, the detective decided to make contact.

The detective drove his vehicle into the parking lot area of 1901 Calhoun Street and parked roughly seven to ten yards behind the Kia. The detective exited his vehicle, un-holstered his department-issued Glock .40 caliber handgun, identified himself as a police officer, and gave verbal commands to the Kia’s driver to stay here he was. The driver, later identified as Joseph Reeves, looked over his shoulder and made eye contact with the detective. Reeves then put the Kia in reverse and drove backwards toward the detective, who took cover behind his vehicle as Reeves crashed the Kia into the side of the detective’s vehicle. Reeves then placed the Kia in drive and pulled away, passing in front of the detective. While doing so, Reeves raised a “shiny” silver handgun and pointed it in the detective’s direction. In response to having the gun pointed at him, the detective fired his department-issued duty weapon at Reeves, striking him and the Kia severaltimes. Reeves crashed into an unoccupied parked SUV inside the parking lot of 1901 Calhoun Street.

The detective approached the Kia on the driver’s side. He observed Reeves open the door and exit the vehicle with his hands raised. Reeves stated, “You shot me,” and immediately dropped to his knees and kept his hands in the air. The detective approached Reeves and handcuffed him. Within minutes, backup officers arrived and radioed for medical assistance and additional officers. While securing the scene, officers observed and recovered a large silver revolver on the driver’s side floorboard of the Kia.

A civilian witness confirmed that he observed a police officer exit his vehicle and order the occupant of another vehicle out of the car.

In conformance with Trenton Police Department policy, a blood draw was taken from the detective. Laboratory analysis of all of the blood samples yielded negative findings for either ethyl alcohol or any impairing drugs at the time of this incident.

As a result of the investigation, Joseph Reeves was indicted for this incident as well as the incident at East Hanover and North Montgomery streets, which occurred prior to this encounter. He was charged with first- and second- degree weapons and assault offenses. On November 12, 2021, Reeves, pleaded guilty to second-degree aggravated assault and fourth-degree aggravated assault. He stated on the record that he pointed a revolver at Det. Mancheno under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. Reeves is scheduled to be sentenced on January 14, 2022.

Applying the Directives to the undisputed material facts outlined above, the use of force by the detective was legally justified. Under the Attorney General’s Use of Force Guidelines (Rev. June 2000), an officer may use deadly force when he or she reasonably believes it is “immediately necessary to protect the officer . . . from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.” Sec. I.B.1. The New Jersey Criminal Code also justifies the use of deadly force in self-defense where “the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death or serious bodily harm.” N.J.S.A. 2C:3-4b(2). The law defines a “reasonable belief” as one which would be held by a person of ordinary prudence and intelligence situated as the actor was situated.

The detective believed that discharging his weapon was necessary for the protection his life. An independent analysis of the undisputed material facts led to the determination that the belief of the detective was reasonable, and the use of force in this matter was justified pursuant to all applicable laws and the Attorney General Guidelines. This statement was prepared and disseminated to the public in accordance with §8 of the detective.

Man seriously injured in hit & run accident in North Trenton

Trenton, NJ (Mercer) Trenton Police are investigating after a man was struck by a vehicle in the 600 block of Martin Luther King Blvd Monday evening.
Trenton firefighters and Trenton Emergency medical services, Capital Health paramedics responded to the scene. They reported that the male was unconscious, called for a trauma alert, and was transported to Capital Health trauma center. The driver did not remain at the scene. Martin Luther King Blvd is closed from East Ingram Ave to Trent Ave.

A neighbor reported that the male struck is approximately a 45-year-old man struck by a light-colored car driven by a female who left the scene.

UPDATE Fatal crash involving Two Police officers in North Brunswick Crash

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ ( Middlesex) Ems and firefighters responded to reports of a Motor vehicle crash involving multiple vehicles including a Old Bridge police unit just after 12:00 Am.

The accident occurred on Us-130 and Carolier lane. It was reported that 3 people were transported with serious injuries to Robert Wood New Brunswick, Firefighters extracted both officers and were transferred to Ems, the roadway remains closed off for the investigation.

UPDATE: Two children were killed on Thanksgiving Day when the car they were traveling in crashed into a police vehicle, Attorney General Andrew J Bruck said. The identities of the victims have not been released.

The incident occurred on Nov. 25 at 11:35 p.m. at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 130 in North Brunswick, the AG said.

According to preliminary investigation, the first vehicle with two children was operated by a civilian and was driving on the wrong side of the highway. The second vehicle was a marked Old Bridge Police Department car being driven by an Old Bridge police officer, and which contained another officer and a civilian. 

“Both children in the civilian vehicle died from injuries sustained in the crash. Both officers and the civilian within the police vehicle sustained injuries,” Bruck said.

The Attorney General’s office is conducting an investigation into the incident. “Per Section II.H.3 of the Directive, the investigation will be bifurcated, with the AG’s Office investigating the conduct of the officers involved in the collision, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office investigating the conduct of any other parties that may be responsible,” Bruck said.

Police looking for missing former Lawrence Township teacher

Lawrence Township, NJ (Mercer) The Lawrence Township Police Department is searching for a former Lawrence Township school district teacher Kelly Brophy, Brophy was not seen for over serval days according to her brother Thomas Brophy. Thomas stated in a Facebook post that Her phone was pinged and her last location known was in Brooklyn NY on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Her phone is off and has not been able to get a hit on her phone since. Thomas also stated that Kelly and Thomas lost their father and she has been suffering from depressed. Kelly is driving a red 2021 Mazda CX30 NJ Reg. DH9-NRJ.
Anyone with information is urged to call Lawrence Twp. Police at 609-896-1111 Det. Ryan Dunn 609-844-7125.

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Detectives Put Trenton’s H-Block Behind the Eight-Ball

Trenton, NJ ( Mercer ) Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri today announced that a six- month, multi-jurisdictional investigation of narcotics distribution and violent crime in the Mercer County area has culminated with the arrest of 18 individuals and the seizure of approximately 1,000 grams of heroin, 1,000 grams of methamphetamine, 15 pounds of marijuana, 11 guns, six vehicles and more than $22,000 in cash.
“Operation Eight-Ball was an enormous investigative endeavor and as a result, many violent offenders have been taken off of the street,” said Prosecutor Onofri. “I cannot thank our many law enforcement partners enough for their dedication and assistance in providing safer neighborhoods for the residents of Trenton and Mercer County.”
“Our law enforcement challenges this year required a coordinated plan, and I’m thankful for the city, county, state, and federal officers who stepped up to make Trenton a safer place to live,” said Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley. “In just this operation alone, their hard work yielded multiple firearms, high-capacity magazines, kilograms of narcotics, and more than 15 arrests, six of which are connected to several homicides. This multi-tiered response awaits any criminal group that seeks to plague our streets with drugs and violence.”
STEPHANIE A. KATZ First Assistant Prosecutor
TAREK A. ELKACHOUTY Deputy Chief of County Detectives

“This investigation makes clear the violence associated with drug trafficking,” said Susan A. Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division. “Those targeted in this investigation brought violence and misery to the residents of Mercer County. Their arrests have made the community safer, and DEA will continue to work with our partners to pursue those who violate the law.”
“In the spring of 2020, as the number of shootings and homicides in Trenton began increasing at an alarming rate, we set out to expose trends and connections that might be responsible for triggering the uptick in violence,” said Prosecutor Onofri.
The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit, along with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and many state, county and local police agencies, began their hard-hitting investigation a short time later and dubbed the job “Operation Eight-Ball,” representing the eight-ball logo used by Trenton’s H-Block, a violent criminal street gang responsible for numerous shootings and murders in the city. According to Prosecutor Onofri, the initial investigation focused on the alleged drug activities of H-Block, and through informant information, controlled buys, surveillances and intelligence, authorities were able to obtain and execute more than 40 warrants of individuals, vehicles and locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
On November 4, 2020, search warrants were executed and arrests were made as this investigation progressed. On this day, an undercover officer made arrangements to purchase a quantity of heroin from Joseph Kaite. After conducting the narcotics transaction with the undercover detective at a gas station on North Olden Avenue in Trenton, detectives attempted to arrest Kaite, however, he fled in his vehicle. When detectives attempted to stop Kaite, he collided with a police vehicle causing heavy damage to both vehicles. He then attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended after a brief struggle. Also arrested inside the vehicle were Vincent Bowman and Zaire Jones. Search warrants related to the investigation were subsequently executed and detectives located 30 bricks of heroin and a shotgun. At an apartment on Beakes Street in Trenton, detectives located evidence related to murder of Derek Colley that resulted in homicide charges being filed against Kaite and Tabika Hale.
The investigation continued into 2021 and last week, search warrants were executed at locations in Trenton and Ewing, New Jersey, and Bristol and Morrisville, Pennsylvania. Prior to the execution of these warrants, surveillance officers followed Deshawn Abner as he traveled by cab from Bond Street in Trenton to the Extended Stay Motel on Route 1 in West Windsor where Abner and a second individual, identified as Aziz Stroman, were

observed searching a wooded area around the hotel. After searching the area for about 30 minutes, Abner was seen retrieving a box containing 210 bricks of heroin from the bushes in the hotel parking lot. After retrieving the package, Abner entered the Mercedes Benz Stroman had arrived in, and the two men departed the area. Arrest teams converged on the area and both Abner and Stroman were eventually detained after attempting to flee. A search warrant for Stroman’s Mercedes Benz was obtained and detectives located 210 bricks of heroin on the front passenger floor. Both Abner and Stroman were charged with first-degree narcotic offenses.
After Abner and Stroman were taken into custody, detectives contacted officers in Pennsylvania who had an individual identified as Ricardo Moise under observation. Through the investigation, authorities had pinpointed Moise as the supplier of heroin to North Trenton. At that time, Moise was seen moving items out of his apartment on Beaver Street in Bristol Township, and detectives from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Bristol Borough Police Department, arrested him for outstanding warrants as a result of distributing 75 bricks of heroin to an undercover officer in the spring of 2020. Search warrants were subsequently executed at related locations.
According to Prosecutor Onofri, the total retail value of the confiscated drugs is $228,000. The heroin is valued at $60,000; the methamphetamine is valued at $100,000; and the marijuana at $68,000.
In addition to the narcotics, authorities also seized 11 guns, six vehicles and approximately $22,000 in cash. Approximately 24 bank accounts in connection to the investigation were frozen and continue to be investigated by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit.

As a result of this cooperative investigation, the following arrests were made with the listed charges:
Ricardo Moise, 31, Bristol, Pa. – Numerous narcotic-related offenses
Deshawn Abner, 31, Trenton – Numerous narcotic- and weapons-related offenses Daishawn Dickerson, 30, Trenton – Numerous narcotic-related offenses
Aziz Stroman, 31, Trenton – Numerous narcotic- and weapons-related offenses Zaire Jones, 20, Trenton – Conspiracy
Vincent Bowman, 20, Trenton – Conspiracy
Kashawn Batts, 33, Trenton – Numerous weapons-related offenses
Jaquane Leonard, 32, Trenton – Numerous weapons-related offenses
Joseph Kaite, 19, Trenton – Homicide, numerous narcotic and weapons offenses Tabika Hale, 26, Trenton – Homicide and weapons offenses
Aniyah Boone, 20, Bensalem, Pa. – Numerous narcotic-related offenses
Casimer Phillips, 22, Newtonville – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Kevonte Bivens, 23, Montgomery, Alabama – Numerous narcotic-related offenses

Aleque Williams-Dixon, 21, Blackwood – Numerous narcotic-related offenses Prince Attoh, 20, Trenton – Numerous narcotic-related offenses
Additionally, information obtained during Operation Eight-Ball directly linked Tyzir Hamilton, 19, Treizon Thompson, 20, and Darnell Davis, 19, to the murders of William Irizarry and Julius Vargas. Arrest warrants for the three defendants were obtained in October 2020 and search warrants were also executed at several locations, which led to the recovery of several weapons.
Operation Eight-Ball developed over six months of investigation. It initiated with the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Economic Crime Unit, and received support and resources from 16 additional agencies including:
▪ Drug Enforcement Administration
▪ Federal Bureau of Investigation
▪ Homeland Security Investigations
▪ New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central ▪ Mercer County Sheriff’s Office
▪ Bucks County District Attorney’s Office (Pa.) ▪ Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office
▪ Ewing Police Department
▪ Hamilton Police Division
▪ Lawrence Police Department
▪ Princeton Township Police Department
▪ Robbinsville Police Department
▪ Trenton Police Department
▪ West Windsor Police Department
▪ Bristol Borough Police Department (Pa.)
▪ The College of New Jersey Police Department
In the interest of investigative security and pursuant to established court requirements, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office is limited in discussing specific details regarding the ongoing investigation and the alleged conspiracies.

Aniyah Boone, 20, Bensalem, Pa. – Numerous narcotic-related offenses
Joseph Kaite, 19, Trenton – Homicide, numerous narcotic and weapons offenses
Aziz Stroman, 31, Trenton – Numerous narcotic- and weapons-related offenses
Daishawn Dickerson, 30, Trenton – Numerous narcotic-related offenses
Ricardo Moise, 31, Bristol, Pa. – Numerous narcotic-related offenses
Aleque Williams-Dixon, 21, Blackwood – Numerous narcotic-related offenses
Jaquane Leonard, 32, Trenton – Numerous weapons-related offenses
Kashawn Batts, 33, Trenton – Numerous weapons-related offenses
Kevonte Bivens, 23, Montgomery, Alabama – Numerous narcotic-related offenses
Prince Attoh,20
Tabika Hale, 26, Trenton – Homicide and weapons offenses
Treizon Thompson, 20
Tyzir Hamilton,19
Vincent Bowman, 20, Trenton – Conspiracy
Darnell Davis, 19

Hamilton Police arrest two after illegally firing gun in a county park

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): Hamilton Police responded to Roebling Park, also known as White City Lake, just after 6:30 Friday afternoon when multiple 911 calls reported over 30 gunshots in the area. Police located two males who appeared to be firing a gun at targets on trees, disregarding multiple signs throughout the park that prohibit discharge of any weapon. White City Lake is not only surrounded by homes, but Route 29 also cuts through a portion of the park. Luckily, these men were taken into custody before the situation injured, or even killed someone. Hamilton Police are investigating the crime scene.

Serious head on collision sends two to the hospital

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): Police and EMS responded to Yardville-Hamilton Square Road in the area of Veterans Park for a head on motor vehicle crash around 5:15 PM. Witnesses stated that one of the vehicles crossed into oncoming traffic. Both victims were transported to the hospital by Robertwood Johnson EMS and Capital Health Paramedics. A Township sand truck was requested to sand the Northbound lane of Yardville-Hamilton Square Road for oil and other fluids in the roadway.

3 Day multi-agency operation leads to 20 arrests in Trenton. Drugs, guns, ammunition, and cash seized

TRENTON, NJ: The New Jersey State Police, Trenton Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, and the New Jersey Department of Corrections conducted a 3-day mobile deployment initiative in the city of Trenton that resulted in the arrest of 20 fugitives and the seizure of drugs, guns, ammunition, and cash.

Detectives from the New Jersey State Police Fugitive Unit, Crime Suppression Central Unit, K-9 Unit, and Electronic Surveillance Unit along with members of the United States Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force – Trenton Division, Trenton Police Department, and the New Jersey Department of Corrections targeted violent, recidivist criminals who had warrants for their arrest and were believed to be involved in recent criminal activity within the city. The targets for the operation were identified through various investigative means including street level-intelligence, patrol advisories, and information provided by the Crime Analysis Unit of the New Jersey Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC).

From Wednesday, August 26 to Friday, August 28, a total of 20 fugitives wanted by state, county, and local law enforcement agencies were apprehended in Trenton. The accused were wanted for various crimes including unlawful possession of firearms, certain persons not to possess a firearm, parole violations, burglary, and various drug-related offenses. All suspects were lodged at the Mercer County Correction Center.

Evidence seized as a result of the operation:
• .40 caliber Hi-Point semi-auto handgun (defaced) with extended magazine
• .45 caliber Smith & Wesson semi-auto handgun
• .32 caliber RG revolver
• .357 caliber revolver
• 12-gauge Remington shotgun
• 10-gauge Browning shotgun
• Hollow point ammunition
• More than 21 bricks of heroin
• More than 10 grams of crack cocaine
• More than 3 pounds of marijuana
• 18 ecstasy pills
• More than $38,400 cash

“This fugitive operation reflects the commitment of our state, federal and local law enforcement agencies to work together to stem the tide of violence in Trenton,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Through these warrant sweeps, we not only take dangerous criminals off the street, we also develop leads that can assist us in dismantling the drug networks that are driving gun violence in the city and fueling the epidemic of opiate addiction. I commend all of the law enforcement partners who collaborated in this proactive violence-suppression effort.”

“This multi-agency collaborative operation resulted in the apprehension of dangerous fugitives from justice, many of whom were armed at the time of their arrest, responsible for violent crimes within the city of Trenton,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Our commitment to protecting our Capital City does not end with these 20 arrests. We will continue to work cooperatively with our law enforcement partners in our relentless pursuit of violent crime offenders who attempt to hide from justice.”

“This initiative clearly demonstrates that there are significant legal consequences for those who willfully engage in corrupt, unlawful activity,” said New Jersey Department of Corrections Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, Esq. “We are grateful to those members of the criminal justice system who collaborated on this operation.”

Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty.

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